That Friday Night

February 8, 2011
It all started three weeks ago. Three weeks ago I was the girl everyone wanted to be: hardworking student, head cheerleader, dating the quarterback, and living a luxurious lifestyle. I had everything that everyone ever wanted, and probably more. But three weeks ago she came; she shook the world that I ruled and everything in it. I used to be Jenny Thomas, the girl that girls wanted to be and guys wanted to be with, but now looking at my reflection in the dirty cop car window, I didn’t know who I was anymore. Parker Brooks had arrived at my school in a BMW, same as mine. That’s when I knew she was going to be a problem, no one threatened my authority. Ever. But she was new, she didn’t know the rules of the school, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She was pretty, no questioning that and she walked with an air of confidence, an attitude, that made the guys look her way, she wasn’t quite like the new girl should be.
I watched her carefully for two days, watched who she came in contact with, her fashion sense, her schedule, I learned all I could about Parker Brooks. Wednesday, I made my move.
“You’re Parker, right? I’m Jenny. You should sit with us at lunch today; I know being at a new school is hard.” I flashed my award winning smile; I had perfected the art of false friendliness years ago, it all came natural now.
“Really? Thanks so much, I feel like everyone has just been staring at me the past couple of days. Everything’s been so hectic.” Then she did it, she flashed that same smile right back. She didn’t care that people had been staring at her; in fact she liked it, thrived on it. She wasn’t like the other girls at my school, followers, she was dangerous. She knew what she was doing, but two could play at that game.
At lunch she mingled, and she mingled well. She knew when to laugh, and when to offer input, this was nothing new to her. I watched her carefully, the way she flipped her hair towards my boyfriend and the way she giggled with my best friend. I could feel the jealousy rising, but I needed to keep my decorum because while I was watching her I knew she was watching me too. In my car after school, my best friend, Hannah and I were going to my house, when she brought up Parker.
“She’s really pretty and nice too.” Hannah had a problem of trusting people too easily. She only saw the image that people put out and not the one they kept hidden. This is probably what had kept our friendship going for so long but, after all these years I truly did love her.
“Hannah, sometimes you’re… you’re so stupid. She’s faking can’t you see that? She wants in, but she’s going to have to work for it,” I hinted to my plan.
“What are you talking about Jenny?”
“Can you say: Initiation?” I replied, explaining further.
The rest of the week, Parker sat with us. She thought she had everyone fooled, but she had yet to discover the full extent of my power. On Thursday, she sat down only to discover that all of us were wearing blue that day. Alienation was the first step in her initiation.
She giggled a quick, “Guess I didn’t get the memo,” and continued eating. I didn’t know how much she could take but I was willing to push her limits. Friday it was war, she opened her locker to find all her books gone, she was marked tardy that morning. Strike one. During break, whenever she would approach all conversation would cease. Strike two. And at lunch, we all seemed to scatter when Parker arrived. Strike three. I could see it in her eyes, she hated me, she feared me, and she wanted to be me.
“Hey, Jenny,” she yelled, the venom seeping through her words.
“What… uhh what’s your name again?” I knew all the right buttons to push; I didn’t even turn around to answer her.
“I just wanted to let you know, that you’re a b**** and this school that you think you rule. It means nothing to me, I could care less. Have fun with your pathetic life.” She had gotten my attention; this isn’t what I had wanted. I needed a follower not a rebel. I was the Hitler of this school; she couldn’t take that power from me.
“Parker,” I laughed nonchalantly, “silly, it was a game. A sort of induction, friends?” she looked at my outstretched hand; she pondered the thought, and shook. “Great, I knew you would understand.” But I knew she didn’t trust me, she wore a mask just like me. We were no better than plastic; cold, hard plastic.
The next week we planned a girls night out on Friday, everyone was coming Parker included. We played nice the whole week although everyone sensed our animosity towards each other. I waited for her to crack and she waited for me. Everyone was on edge, anticipating who would throw the first punch, verbal or physical. But we were in a silent war, one that only Parker and I knew how to play, and she was my opponent.
Friday night, we were coming home from the movies, crossing over old Hunter Bridge and the idea hit me. It wasn’t premeditated, but a spur of the moment kind of thing. I stopped the car and got out. Everyone, even Parker, followed. The river below had to be freezing this time of night but the voice in my head kept saying, “Do it.” It was begging me, urging me. I couldn’t say no. It was my drug and I needed a hit.
“We should jump.” I got the expected reaction, but when they realized I was serious no one dared to object. “It will be fun, I promise.” The adrenaline was pumping through me now, I had the idea and it wouldn’t go away. “Parker, will you jump with me?” She could see danger in my eyes, but she tentatively agreed, Parker wasn’t one to back down from a challenge. Now that I said the words, there was no turning back. We stepped up onto the narrow rail of the bridge, the wind beating against us like a drum. They began the countdown and as they screamed the two I glanced over at Parker. She was looking at me, tears in her eyes, she was scared. I had taken things too far, and I didn’t know who I was anymore.
“Please…don’t.” The look in her eyes at that moment, completely real, sent chills down my spine, it had gone too far. She didn’t want to play anymore, she wasn’t indestructible. I had won. But they pushed her; they pushed Parker into the river that Friday night around 11 o’clock. I watched as her body fell motionless to the rushing current, she hit the water hard. And she never came up. I began to panic, and the only thought in my head said, “Run, run fast.”
I was in History when they came to get me, the police that is. They had found my license at the bridge, the bridge where we killed Parker Brooks. I quietly agreed and left the room.
Sitting in the police interrogation room, I wonder where I have gone wrong. I had always been mean, but now I was a murderer. I was going to go to jail, my future was gone. But why should I have one when I had ripped Parker’s out of her hands. I couldn’t even begin to blame this on my friends; they were only doing what they knew I truly wanted. I had wanted Parker Brooks gone, and I had gotten my wish as always.
The police detective walks into the room now. He looks tired, serious, he looks troubled. He’s looking at me now and I know he’s wondering how someone could do something like this, how someone could kill someone else.
“Let’s start from the beginning,” he says heartlessly. He takes the seat across from me and stares into my soul, “don’t leave anything out.”
It’s hard to tell someone how you killed another human being, another living thing. But I take a deep breath and begin, “It all started three weeks ago...”

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